Honda has a long history of developing things that play well in the dirt. 50 plus years in fact. Engineering ATV’s, side-by-sides, dirt bikes and more. For the last 20 years, attention has been turned to off-road capable light trucks. The Passport represents the pinnacle of their efforts. Strong and durable. Constructed on a uni-body, with a fully boxed floor. Independent front and rear suspension, with over 8 inches of ground clearance and excellent approach and departure angles. Active torque vectoring, all-wheel drive and computational modes for mud, snow, sand and normal conditions.
Indeed, all of the right hardware and software seems to be in place. Best of all though, is the calm, composed and precise on-road dynamics that the Passport delivers. Almost sporty in its driving characteristics. Not sloppy or slow in its steering inputs and suspension response, like many SUV’s built on a truck frame. Tackling craggy, rugged terrain or mountain passes with smooth tarmac. The Honda Passport delivers strong performance in both realms.
2022 model updates bring new rugged styling to better pair with the Passports off-road capabilities. Dialing this up even further is the aggressive Trailsport package. This cosmetic upgrade delivers attractive gray wheels, a grey grille and bumper skid garnishes. On the inside, the Trailsport edition peppers in orange interior lighting, seats with the Trailsport logo, and durable, all-season floor mats. These are important improvements, as in the past, the Honda Passport was never able to effectively communicate its off-roading aptitude by looks alone. Now, especially with the Trailsport edition, its many steps closer to being better dressed for the part it’s best built to play.
This is something Toyota figured out early on with the RAV4. A competitor that Honda has targeted specifically to demonstrate the superiority of the Passport over this popular rival. In a cross-comparison, they’re able to make a compelling case. The Passport has a higher safety rating. Comes with more standard features and driving aides. Is more powerful with a better fuel rating. Has way more rear legroom and cargo space. We could go on. If Honda can continue to close the design gap, tuning the Passports presence and presentation to scream trail ready, instead of just another about-town SUV crossover. If they can continue in that design direction, then they’ll have a formula that’s truly hard to beat. The 2022 model gets us closer than ever. Here’s hoping the positive momentum continues into the future.
Price as tested: $44,090.00